The Wild Roanoke

What a river! A week ago, with the help of a guide, I launched my kayak onto the wild Roanoke River and kayaked from Halifax, NC, to a private landing just across from the Urquhart Tract, a total distance of about 40 miles. I birded this sleeping beauty from my kayak, surveying the feathered wildlife along the way. There were Bald Eagles and Ospreys, Prothonotary Warblers and Summer Tanagers, Yellow-throated Vireos and Swainson’s Warblers, and one prize bird, the Cerulean Warbler, heard singing from the trees in the Uruqhart Tract just before my take-out point. Yellow-billed Cuckoos beckoned me down the river and Indigo Buntings urged me on.

None of this would have been possible without the help of Heber Coltrain of Williamston who did a superb job of planning my trip. He planned where I would camp overnight, obtaining a special permit to do so, and he planned where I would take out of the river by talking to a private landowner to get permission to use his landing. Heber assures me he can arrange other trips, too. One that I’d like to do some day is to visit the Uruqhart Tract when hunting season is over and explore the area for birds, including the declining Cerulean Warbler population that still breeds there. Maybe a few birding friends of mine might be interested in that.

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For more information about Heber’s services, go here:

Here are my bird species counts for the two days:

May 3, 2012 8:20 AM – 5:26 PM
Protocol: Traveling
19.999 mile(s)
Comments:    …traveled by kayak on Roanoke River from Halifax, NC, to HWY 258 bridge.
63 species

Canada Goose  6
Wood Duck  4
Northern Bobwhite  4
Wild Turkey  1
Double-crested Cormorant  22
Great Blue Heron  9
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  30
Osprey  8
Bald Eagle  20
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Killdeer  2
Spotted Sandpiper  27
Mourning Dove  35
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  10
Chimney Swift  2
Belted Kingfisher  10
Red-bellied Woodpecker  31
Downy Woodpecker  14
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Pileated Woodpecker  6
Eastern Wood-Pewee  33
Acadian Flycatcher  27
Great Crested Flycatcher  44
Eastern Kingbird  3
White-eyed Vireo  51
Yellow-throated Vireo  21
Red-eyed Vireo  97
Blue Jay  5
American Crow  45
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  4
Barn Swallow  2
Carolina Chickadee  28
Tufted Titmouse  60
Brown-headed Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  40
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  60
Wood Thrush  8
Gray Catbird  2
Ovenbird  1
Northern Waterthrush  2
Prothonotary Warbler  73
Swainson’s Warbler  14
Kentucky Warbler  11
Common Yellowthroat  8
Hooded Warbler  7
American Redstart  17
Northern Parula  4
Black-throated Blue Warbler  3
Prairie Warbler  7
Yellow-breasted Chat  9
Field Sparrow  2
Summer Tanager  33
Northern Cardinal  46
Blue Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  70
Eastern Meadowlark  2
Common Grackle  15
Brown-headed Cowbird  9
Orchard Oriole  2
American Goldfinch  8

Comments:    traveled by kayak on the Roanoke River from HWY 258 bridge downstream to a private landing across from the Urquhart Tract.
55 species

Wood Duck  16
Double-crested Cormorant  3
Great Blue Heron  6
Black Vulture  2
Turkey Vulture  32
Osprey  1
Mississippi Kite  2
Bald Eagle  14
Red-shouldered Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  5
Killdeer  1
Spotted Sandpiper  5
Mourning Dove  15
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  10
Belted Kingfisher  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  12
Downy Woodpecker  5
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Pileated Woodpecker  8
Eastern Wood-Pewee  10
Acadian Flycatcher  19
Eastern Phoebe  3
Great Crested Flycatcher  31
Eastern Kingbird  2
White-eyed Vireo  37
Yellow-throated Vireo  10
Red-eyed Vireo  62
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  28
Fish Crow  3
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3
Carolina Chickadee  14
Tufted Titmouse  31
Carolina Wren  35
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  38
Wood Thrush  1
Cedar Waxwing  1
Prothonotary Warbler  44
Swainson’s Warbler  17
Kentucky Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  13
Hooded Warbler  11
American Redstart  47
Cerulean Warbler  1    heard singing in the Urquhart Tract
Northern Parula  7
Black-throated Blue Warbler  3
Prairie Warbler  1
Yellow-breasted Chat  2
Summer Tanager  24
Northern Cardinal  35
Indigo Bunting  77
Eastern Meadowlark  5
Common Grackle  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  16
American Goldfinch  4


About birdingatbond

I love birding! And I live near Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC.
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